How to WIN the Fight Against the

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					No2ID Campaigners Briefing Leaflet 1 20/12/04

How to WIN the Fight Against the
     National Identity Card
and Associated National Identity
  A Guide to Countering pro-ID Questions and Arguments
From Friends, Family, Colleagues, Media and the Government
In November 2003, the government announced its intention to introduce a compulsory National
Identity Card as quickly as the technology can be proven and the population ‘softened up’ to
accept it. Since that date it has worked tirelessly to push ahead with this agenda.

This booklet will be useful to you if:

        You believe in privacy and freedom and are feeling uncomfortable about the
        government’s new Citizen Database and ID card and the associated database
        of citizens called the National Identity Register.
        You are unsure about how to answer some of the pro-ID opinions you hear.
        Maybe some of the ‘pro’ arguments even seem convincing and you would like
        to be able to refute them.

This booklet will go through the main pro-ID questions and arguments you may hear from
friends, family, government officials and the media. Hopefully it will provide you with solidly
reasoned counter-arguments to help get your point across.

What We Stand For
Here is a quick reminder about what NO2ID is all about:

NO2ID is a single-issue pressure group established with the aim of stopping the government from
introducing compulsory Identity Cards and a National Identity Register - the vast database that
will be necessary to make the cards work. We are also against 'voluntary' Identity Cards as
these are, by the Government's own admission, merely a step on the road to compulsion.

No2ID Campaigners Briefing Leaflet 1 20/12/04

We are a concerned group of people from all backgrounds who wish to protect our fast-vanishing
privacy and civil liberties. All our funding is from voluntary donations, grants and NO2ID-
produced merchandise. We are completely non-partisan and are unaffiliated to any group,
religion, political party or business.

We are not against all forms of ID. NO2ID's Constitution focuses us specifically on "issues
concerning ID cards, centralised identity registers and schemes involving the creation of a unique
identifying number and/or biometrically based identifier(s) for each and every citizen" and
"initiatives that involve comprehensive data sharing without the fully-informed and explicit
consent of the individual".

We are against compulsory entry onto a National Identity Register and the creation of a National
Identity Register Number (NIRN) for each one of us, no matter how innocent the information
linked by NIRN or held on file may be, i.e. we are against this on principle."

The Main Argument
As a supporter, it is important that you always have in mind this issue of principle, even though
you may choose to argue from on practical grounds (“It’s expensive, it won’t stop terrorism, it
will criminalise ordinary people” etc.)

The reason for having principle as your guide is that practical arguments always carry less weight
and are often easily refuted – and this means you are less likely to win converts.

To get this vital point across, consider slavery. Slavery is wrong on principle with no further
discussion required. The principle here is that all people should be free from coercive force – free
to choose their own path, free to pursue their own happiness and even free to make their own
errors. That is the way to argue against slavery. It is far weaker to argue that slaves are, say,
inefficient and that machines would be better. This just invites a long and heated discussion about
the relative efficiencies of machines –v– muscle and entirely misses the point. You could easily
lose a debate like this if your opponent were able to convince the audience that muscle is actually
better/cheaper/more flexible or more efficient than a machine – which indeed it may be.

So What is the Principle Here?
The principle is that you are a sovereign citizen and you do not live by ‘government permission’.
A government is (or should be) the servant of the people, not its master. Privacy and freedom are
yours by right and we only give governments permission to curtail these freedoms in very limited
and important circumstances. It is not a proper function of government to engage in blanket
surveillance of law-abiding citizens; or to instigate systems of compulsory identification; or to
open a file on each citizen; or to criminalise citizens who refuse to comply.

Although you should be constantly guided by such principles, in practice most people are
hopelessly ill-equipped to argue from a position of principle having been brought up on a diet of
sound-bite rhetoric and policies based on ‘mood of the moment’ expediency. We live in a
pragmatic age where most people agree with the statement: “If it works – then to hell with

Therefore unless you are engaged in debate with someone who understands the meaning of the
word ‘principle’ it is better to soften your approach to one of ‘balance’ whilst holding the
principle in your mind.

No2ID Campaigners Briefing Leaflet 1 20/12/04

For example:

“We believe in finding a correct balance between preserving our freedom and privacy on the one
hand, and satisfying our desire for safety and security on the other. Such a balance requires wise,
benevolent government and constant vigilance from the population. We must be prepared to
challenge those who would violate our freedom and privacy for their own political or
financial gain.”

So a more easily digested line of argument is that because we live together in a society we must
trade some freedoms in the name of a peaceful and smooth-running society for all. But we must
be very careful about which freedoms we give away and what the motive is of those who would
seek to remove our privacy and freedom. You would then move on to explain why a National
Identity Register and ID card is a massive intrusion on liberty and freedom – or at the very least it
enables such massive intrusion.

The National ID card and National Identity Register is a giant leap towards authoritarian control
and fundamentally alters the balance of power between citizen and state.

The card itself is not the real problem. The concern is the vast National Identity Register with
each citizen becoming a number on a government computer which would hold a file on each of
us. Initially the file would contain very little (date of birth, current address…). But gradually (in
the name of ‘preventing terrorism’ ‘stopping crime’ or ‘protecting children’) the file would
contain or link to more and more personal information such as: your spending habits, your
ethnicity, your religion, your sexual preferences, your political leanings, your health records, your
criminal records, your driving record and convictions. Naturally the government currently have
‘no plans’ to add such data and maintain that they will have ‘adequate safeguards’ in place…

All practical arguments (cost, computer problems, etc.) are secondary to this main argument from
principle – but obviously you will use these secondary arguments a great deal.

Argue From the Positive, Not the Negative
Before we get into the strictly practical pro- and anti-ID arguments, here is another important

Whenever possible, argue passionately about what you stand FOR (privacy and freedom) rather
than what you are AGAINST (ID cards and government databases). This has a much more
powerful effect. Why? Because everyone wants privacy and freedom – these are not alien
concepts to most people. Everyone gives these up reluctantly, and only after due persuasion that
is for the best - although we are all far better at giving up other people’s freedoms of course!
Very few people (we hesitate to say “nobody”) will make a statement such as: “Frankly I am
appalled that anyone could want such disgusting things as privacy and freedom. It just goes to
show the corruption we are facing in this world that anyone could have the nerve to suggest these
things were good….”

So, always try and turn it around to the positive, as follows:

“Why are you so against these ID cards?”
“Before I answer that, I would just like to say that I am passionately for privacy and freedom; I
am only against these cards because they seriously threaten the freedoms which I hold so dear.

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Freedoms, by the way, which a million Britons found important enough to fight and die for in the
last World War alone.”

Argue About the Database, Not the Card
Most people see cards as unthreatening – they carry a wallet or purse full of them
already. They simply cannot see that another ‘harmless piece of plastic’ is anything
sinister. They are right in a way – it’s the database which is the danger, not the card. So
try always to lead with the dangers of the National Identity Register, not the card itself. The
dangers are having a file held on each citizen with ever increasing amounts of personal data being
added and an increasing army of ‘authorised users’ having access to such data.

How to Debate With People For Maximum Effect
You may often find yourself in a debate – sometimes heated – about privacy, Identity Cards, Big
Brother, creeping statism and so on. It is not very efficient one-to-one to try to convince someone
else of your views because, in general, people are very poor at thinking through their positions
and holding logically consistent views. In particular they are unused to thinking from principle.
They view principled arguments as ‘unbending’ or ‘extreme’.

Bottom line? You’ll have your work cut out – but it can be fun.

The Players
Unlike more emotional subjects such as fox-hunting, vivisection, and abortion, it is unlikely that
you will come across any vehemently pro-ID card arguments. Most people have not really
considered the issue. If they have thought about it at all, they probably have some vague notion
that ID cards will ‘somehow’ stop terrorism and crime (in some vague, undefined way) and they
might have assimilated, and regurgitate a few sound-bites such as “If you have nothing to hide,
you have nothing to fear.” Or “If it saves just one kiddie’s life, it’s worth it.”

Thus you are in competition with apathy and ignorance, rather than passion and certainty. You
may also come across the rare person who holds very extreme (in our view) ideas along these

“I would have a chip in everyone’s head controlling their thoughts, if that’s what it took to stop
crime.” The more you press this person, the deeper they will dig-in, advocating life imprisonment
for a first offence (“…they shouldn’t have done the crime if they didn’t want to go to prison.”)
and the death penalty for many crimes. They do not think that the current two million spy
cameras are anything like enough and would strongly advocate a spy camera in each of our
homes, together with a microphone. They would state that only criminals could possibly protest
such a move. When you explain that the price of low crime is totalitarian dictatorship, they will
agree – they just want that dictatorship as soon as possible. Thankfully these people are rare.
It is hard/impossible to get them to take a more reasonable stance. It is best to disengage.

In general most people won’t have thought about it at all, some will be strongly anti-Big Brother
already and a few will be mildly pro-Big Brother.

This is good news for us as the vast majority of people are at least open to hearing our arguments
and being converted to our point of view. Contrast this with contentious issues such as abortion
where most people have firmly held views, issuing from deep moral or religious convictions one

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way or the other. It is almost impossible to turn a pro-abortion advocate into an anti-abortion
advocate, and vice-versa. Not so with our campaign, thankfully.

How to ‘Win’ an Argument
The objective (in any argument or debate on any issue) is to try to get the other person to consider
your viewpoint and hopefully change their own viewpoint as a result of their discussions with
    The objective is not to ‘win’ the argument and be ‘right’ by brow-beating the
             opposition with a stunning array of incontrovertible facts.
When you set out to do this, people become alienated and even more firmly wedded to their

So here are a few tips for achieving the desired outcome of winning hearts and minds.

Tip #1: Stay Calm
No matter how impassioned you feel about an issue, it is always alienating to be screamed at,
lectured to or spoken to like an idiot. How do you feel when someone does this to you? It makes
the other person go into ‘protective’ mode right at the point when you want them to listen
sympathetically to your viewpoint. So, no screaming, wagging fingers, waving arms, thumping
tables or condescension – and that includes ‘voice tone condescension’ even though the words
you are saying are innocuous in themselves!

Tip #2: No Judgemental Language
Do you want a sure-fire way of making someone switch-off to your viewpoint and become hostile
and defensive? Use judgemental language and negative labels – or use a tone of voice which
implies these things.

“Only a fool would believe…”
“What kind of moronic statement is that?”
“That’s just ridiculous and unreasonable.”
“Come off it! You cannot be serious, surely?”
“Listen, I’m going to explain this just once more, and s-l-o-w-l-y, ok?”
“That’s the sort of stupid question I have come to expect from fools like you.”
“Sigh… I’m wasting my time here. I thought you had a bit more intelligence.”

Tip #3: Listen to the Other Person and Respect Their Viewpoint
“I don’t learn anything when I’m talking,” is a very true saying.

What do you most want from your encounter? You want the other person to listen to you
considerately, hear your viewpoint, think about it intelligently, then hopefully (and it is a BIG
hope) come on to your side, right?

The best way to achieve this is to give the other person the same respect – but this is so difficult
to do when one of your deeply held beliefs is being challenged.

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Although it might seem to you that the person challenging you is being deliberately stupid or
acerbic, in reality people engage in such a debate either because they are curious or because they
have some strongly held views of their own. Their views may be wrong (in your opinion) but they
must be respected.

      Putting it simply, you must start from where they are, right now, if
             you are to have the faintest hope of converting them.
If they challenge your views, silently ask yourself a vital question: “What are they needing right
now?” This allows you to connect to the person before you start giving intellectual water-tight
arguments. The importance of this cannot be over-emphasised. Water-tight arguments in
themselves never win battles in emotive issues – connecting person-to-person at least gives you a
fighting chance.

Hint: 90%+ of people who take a pro-ID Card stance are acting out of fear. So their need is
security and safety. They view the world as a dangerous place with criminals and terrorists
lurking on every corner. Governments are delighted to aid them in this view if it helps their
agenda. They are frightened and want protection – just like we all want protection. They see the
ID card (and many other draconian security measures) as providing them with more safety. Their
un-stated motto might be:

                       “Safety and protection at ANY price.”
Incidentally, many of us in the anti-ID card camp are also frightened and want protection. We are
frightened that our hard-won liberties are being dismantled, and we want protection from over-
arching Big Brother state control and interference.

Tip #4: Address Their Needs and Concerns FIRST
So before you launch into the intellectual arguments, try to connect with and acknowledge the
other person’s position first. If they are just mildly curious and have no strong feelings either
way, you can proceed straight to the main arguments.

Example of Bad Argument
John and Mary are discussing ID Cards. John is mildly in favour of them but hasn’t really thought
about it that much. Mary has thought a lot about is and is passionately against.

This sort of response will get Mary nowhere:

John: “I think ID cards could be just what we need. They will stop these terrorists from attacking
us. That’s got to be a good thing, surely?”

Mary: “Don’t be stupid! It has been scientifically proven that 89.37% of terrorists do not even
have ID on them when committing their acts…blah, blah, blah.”

Hopeless! John will only dig-in deeper. Now compare with this:

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Example of Good Argument
John: “I disagree. I think ID cards could be just what we need. They’ll stop these terrorists from
attacking us. That’s got to be a good thing, surely?”

(Mary first acknowledges John’s position before doing anything else.)

Mary: “So you’re worried about the increase in terrorist attacks recently and you want people to
be safe?” (Guessing at, and then acknowledging John’s need for safety.)

John: “Well yeah! Aren’t you? I mean it’s getting ridiculous. There was that Istanbul bomb, and
the World Trade Centre and Jakarta – I mean, who’s safe these days?”

Mary: “Sounds like you’re worried that terrorists might come into this country and plan attacks
and that makes you fearful?”

John: “Well it’s certainly possible, isn’t it? And ID cards would let us know who these people

[Okay, John feels listened-to now, his voice-tone is already calmer and more reasonable and
Mary can progress.]

Mary: “Yeah, I want us all to be safe too, and if I thought ID cards would have any significant
impact on terrorism, maybe I would be more in favour, but you know there is good reason to
suppose that not only will they not stop terrorism, they could even aid terrorism…”

John: “Huh? How come?”

Now Mary is free to explain this strand of the argument to John – and most importantly, John is

What a difference that way of talking makes. However, be warned, it’s not so easy to do in the
heat of an argument!

TIP #5 Change May Not Come Immediately
You’ve talked for an hour, listened to and acknowledged their concerns and produced a glittering
array of unassailable points - but that pig-headed fool (to use judgemental language!) still has not
changed his mind. This does not mean that you have lost. Often people feel the need to stick to
their position, even when they know they are defending the indefensible. Haven’t we all done that
at some time? Maybe later, or next day or next week something you have said will suddenly have
an effect and they will come to you and say: “I’ve been thinking about what we discussed last
week, and you know, I think you’ve got a point…”

Tip #6 You’ve Heard it a 100 Times Before But THEY Haven’t
As a campaigner you must be prepared to repeat the same points, time and again like a broken
record. You need to remember that most people have not thought this through and it will be the
first time they’ve heard a sensible counter-argument to trite media sound-bites. There may be
1,000+ issues alive at any one time; everything from more funding for the ballet through to
mothers against drunk drivers. It is not reasonable to expect people to be briefed on even 1% of

No2ID Campaigners Briefing Leaflet 1 20/12/04

these campaigns. Our campaign is just another in a long list, so be prepared to be patient and to
repeat yourself over and over again. No matter how many times you have heard the old “nothing
to hide, nothing to fear” argument, try to avoid sighing and rolling your eyes before launching
into the thousandth repetition of the argument against this. The message you are sending is: “Oh
my God! I can’t believe you asked such a moronically obvious question. (Sigh). Oh well, I guess
I’ll have to explain it s-l-o-w-l-y for you once again…”

                                        Key Point
          Just because a particular proposal has some advantages (and a National
          ID card DOES have advantages, of course) that doesn’t mean it is good or
          should be adopted. Hopefully this is obvious. If not, consider the
          advantages of banning all cars or imposing a jail-on-sight, all-night
          curfew in cities from 6 pm until 6 am. Both could be shown to have really
          massive benefits (consider 3,000 deaths a year in vehicle accidents and
          drunken thugs in our city centres.)

Let’s now move on to the main practical arguments and questions you will come across, together
with some suggested answers.

                     The Main Arguments and Questions
There follows a very brief summary of our main points. Remember to argue from principle
wherever possible and then to use these practical points as secondary ammunition.

Who Gains From an ID Card?
Government. All governments of all persuasions in all countries constantly seek increased
power and control – often, by the way, for genuinely benign reasons, but often not.

Big Business. They long for all ‘consumers’ to be logged, filed and classed according to
demographics and spending profiles. This is not a sinister motive. It merely increases their profits
as they can more carefully and cost-effectively target their marketing.

“If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.”
This is the most popular sound-bite, endlessly regurgitated by media interviewers and hence
picked up and repeated by the general public.

Answer: One good way to graphically illustrate the poverty of this argument is to counter with an
example: “So you will not object to a government spy camera in every room of your house,
including your bedroom, linked back to a police monitoring station? Apparently a lot of crime
goes on behind closed doors. Child abuse, criminals conspiring, thieves dividing up their loot,
drug dealers etc. The police could clear up a lot of crime with these new powers. Surely if you
have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear?”

Or: “Spy satellite technology is now getting so sophisticated that the government may propose
that a high-power camera in space can now track each citizen 24/7 and watch and record their
every movement. If you have nothing to hide, why would you fear such a system?”

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Interestingly, we have gone so far down the route of Big Brother State Control that some people
hearing this would actually welcome the compulsory introduction of such cameras and satellites.

More reasoned answer: This needs restating to expose its true colours, thus: “So you are saying
that if you are not a criminal then the government may use any surveillance and monitoring
against you no matter how draconian and intrusive? All mail should be routinely opened, all
telephone calls routinely recorded, cameras monitoring every movement you make?”

Your need for privacy does not,
in any way, imply you have                                    Key Point
something to fear or hide. This        ID cards will criminalise tens of thousands of ordinary
is an entirely erroneous notion.       people. The new Bill established a large number of
To invade your privacy,                new crimes and offences to ensure that people comply.
someone should have a very
                                       Penalties already proposed include:
good reason. One valid reason
would be if you were                   £1,000 fine for failure no notify the authorities of
committing criminal acts or            change of details.
strongly suspected of doing so.        £2,500 fine for failure to have a card.
Then, with due process of law,         Two years in prison for refusal to pay the fine.
the police could invade your
privacy for a strictly limited period, associated with the alleged criminal activity. Only vicious,
out-of-control dictatorial regimes believe in monitoring and controlling all citizens all of the time
just ‘in case’ a tiny minority of individuals get up to no good.

In fact it is the innocent who have the most to fear. Criminals and terrorists will simply find a way
around these cards – it will be a minor irritation (or even a golden opportunity) to them. Only the
careless and guileless will be caught up in the bureaucratic nightmare. It is they who will be fined
and criminalised for any one of the proposed ‘ID crimes’ such as failure to renew on time.

“But surely if it saves just ONE…”
…kiddie, life, victim of crime, terrorist attack, illegal immigrant…etc.

Answer: “So by your own logic, if I can prove that it causes just ONE death or harms just ONE
child, the government will immediately abolish it?”

More reasoned answer: We do not apply this argument to any other aspect of society, so why
should we for ID cards? We kill 3,000 and injure 30,000 on the roads each year yet we do not
abolish cars. 120,000 die each year from smoking-related illness yet we do not abolish cigarettes.
80 people are killed each year falling from step-ladders – by the same argument we should
abolish those, after all, if it saves just ONE life…

“What’s wrong with having ID? Surely we need them in our modern
world and I have a fist-full of the stuff already?”
Answer: No2ID does not oppose voluntary identity documents such as bus passes, library cards,
bank cards, etc. Furthermore, we are not against any particular methods (e.g. biometric) of
identification. Put simply, if you choose to have a biometric card issued by (say) ABC Bank, then
this is your choice. You can bank there or not, carry their card or not – and sue ABC if they
release your private information to a third party without your consent. We are against the
blanket, compulsory introduction of a National Identity Card for every UK resident, with

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its associated National Identity Register run by government bureaucrats. Such a database
would grow year on year until eventually the government had a file on every person in the UK.
The file (and card) could contain or link to financial history, health background, religion,
ethnicity, criminal convictions, purchase history, physical whereabouts of the ‘target’ citizen,
political profile, DNA profile etc. etc. Each passing year will hear a call for more data to be added
to the system in the name of “anti-fraud” “anti-crime” “anti-terrorism” “protecting children” “anti
tax-evasion” or any one of a number of similar reasons.
“Sounds a bit Big Brotherish I agree, but what makes you think this
government want that kind of level of control?”
Answer: All governments of all persuasions in all countries constantly seek increased power and
control – often, by the way, for genuinely benign reasons, but often not. Successive governments-
in-waiting in the UK have chattered about ‘rolling back the frontiers of the state’ – each elected
government has done the exact opposite when in power – introducing more laws, higher taxes,
more centralisation and stripping away more freedoms. It is central to our argument that a
National ID Card and its associated National Identity Register are the ultimate enabling tools for
corrupt regimes. This government may be benign – but the next? And the next fifty governments?
Basically, do you trust governments to have your best interests at heart now and forever?
“Where is the real danger here?”
Answer: Creeping statism. Each year seeing more and more bureaucrats having access to your
citizen file, and more and more data being required to be placed on your file.
It will also make us constantly and habitually defer to state control on a daily basis. Thus: “Have I
got my ID card? What if I’m stopped? I must remember not to go out without it. I hope I’m not
caught this time…” and “Should I buy this magazine on guns? What if it ends up on my record?
Maybe I’d better not visit that country – it would look bad on my file. Maybe I won’t buy that
extra bottle of wine – it could damage my health record and affect my insurance premiums…”)
“If it will stop terrorism then I’m in favour of it.”
Answer: In fact it could make the terrorists life easier, if anything. Even the government dropped
their tired ‘fighting terrorism’ slogan in 2002 regarding ID cards when they realised it didn’t
stack up. The government has started using it again recently to bolster their other very weak
arguments for this draconian measure. Imagine the Sept 11th terrorists abandoning their evil plan
because…they didn’t have a valid ID card. That’s not very credible. Will lack of an ID card stop
any determined terrorist? No. Also, many terrorists (e.g. Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma bomber)
                                                                       are ‘card-carrying citizens’ of
                             Key Point                                 their own countries. The
                                                                       National Identity Card can
    ID cards will do little to stop terrorism and may even and will be faked (see below)
    aid it. Some terrorists are ‘card-carrying’ citizens of allowing terrorists to enter the
    the country in which they carry out their acts (E.g. country with fewer security
    Timothy McVeigh, Oklahoma bomber). Also, normal checks than at present. Why?
    common sense anti-terrorism precautions will be                    If they carry the card, and
    dismantled and total reliance placed on the card.                  their eye scan matches the
                                                                       database – then it will be
    “ID Cards won’t stop terrorism.” David Blunkett (prior to
                                                                       “pass friend”, without a
                                                                       second glance.

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“I have heard that this will cost a lot to implement. Is this true?”
                                                                   Answer: The government’s
                      Key Question                                 own current estimate is over
  Why is the government intending to spend a minimum               five and a half billion pounds.
  of 5.5 BILLION pounds on an ID card system, instead              Add to that the usual mess-up
  of using that money on schooling, housing or urgent              caused when any government
                                                                   gets involves with impossibly
  infrastructure improvement?
                                                                   large projects (Scottish
parliament, CSA computer fiasco, Air Traffic computer fiasco) and you can double or triple that
estimate. This at a time when our hospitals are a disgrace, schools are in urgent need of repair,
our public transport systems are a joke and children in deprived areas are living in squalor. Now
ask yourself why a government would rather spend three billion on logging us all into a giant
computer system, than on such essential social tasks.
It will create a vast bureaucracy of expensive employees to maintain the system of tagging
citizens, issuing cards, handing out penalties and dealing with lost and stolen cards.
“Who will pay for it?”
Answer: YOU will. Either directly (there are plans to charge you for the privilege of being turned
into a number) or through increased taxation. Governments don’t have any money – it all comes
from you and me, one way or another. And under a compulsory ID card system, you will be
compelled to pay. You will not have a choice. Resistance will be met first with fines and then
imprisonment. The government plan a large array of new ID-card crimes with associated
“But surely it will reduce crime? That’s got to be a good thing.”
Answer: It may reduce Social Security ID fraud only (which is a miniscule percentage of the
                                                                      Social Security budget and the
                          Key Point                                   smallest area of Social Security
  The police so far have been very luke-warm about any                fraud). Most fraud is
  alleged ‘crime reduction’ which will occur as a result of ID        ‘understatement of
  cards. Rather it will create a huge underground lucrative           circumstances’ not identity
  criminal trade in fake ID estimated to be worth billions.           fraud. It would do nothing to
  That which can be made by man can be faked by man.                  stop other crime (burglary,
                                                                      assault, theft, fraud, rape,
mugging, murder…). All other major crime may even be aided by such a card. For reasons, see
the question on terrorism. The proper way to tackle social security fraud is through proper
identification of social security claimants – not blanket compulsory introduction of ID cards for
all citizens, claimants or not. (The same class of argument would be the introduction of a
compulsory National Identity Card for all because…people were borrowing books from libraries
using fake names and address and not returning them. The answer – better ID for library users,
not a compulsory ID card for everyone.) Also it is not a valid argument to say: “If X reduces
crime, then X should be introduced.” This leaves the path open for hidden microphones on every
street corner, routine taping of all telephone calls, opening of all private mail, etc. etc. All of these
would greatly reduce crime.
The police rarely have problem identifying criminals once caught. They have problems gaining
successful prosecutions and this has nothing to do with ID.

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“But these things cannot be faked, surely?”
Answer: It’s a plastic card, made by man, with a chip, made by man. Anything made by man can
be faked by man. You could not create such a fake card on your kitchen table. But what about an
ultra-modern laboratory, run by the most sophisticated criminal minds on the planet, designed and
built specifically to clean-up on the estimated 300 BILLION pound market in counterfeit cards?
Would this headline from The Telegraph, June 2007, surprise you?

          “Parliament Bombers Used Fake National Identity
                   Cards to Gain Access to Westminister.”
Or this one:

         “Counterfeit ID Card Ring Discovered in Taiwan.”
Or this one:

        “Drug Barons Now Making More on Counterfeit ID
                           Than Dope, Claims Report.”
Also, these cards will be produced by people, working in factories (huge factories) staffed
entirely by… people. These workers will be, in the main, minimum-wage employees. Do you
think some of them might be tempted by a bribe of £500, £1,000 or £10,000 to run a few
‘specials’ through the system, or deliver 100 ‘blanks’ to a guy in the pub, no questions asked? If
not them, how about the supervisors or managers? £100k a year ‘back-hander’ is pretty tempting.
“I still don’t quite get it. How can an Iris scan or fingerprint be faked?”
Answer: The biometric information cannot be faked (let us assume). In other words, your iris and
your fingerprint are unique. It is the detail on the card that can (and will) be faked. Thus a
terrorist will have a false card with his iris scan or his fingerprint, but a fake name address and
citizen number – all illegally (but properly) registered on the National Identity Register by (say) a
paid insider. When he uses the card at the airport, the iris scan will match the card and his record
will come up as John Doe, 43 The Street, Anytown – whereas he is really Mr A Terrorist, c/o
Osama Enterprises etc. Remember, there is no ‘iris’ or ‘fingerprint’ actually on the card – all that
is there will be a lot of ones and zeros (a digital code) representing your iris and your fingerprint.
“Are you saying that terrorists and criminals will be running around
with fake ID, whereas the law-abiding citizens will be subjected to yet
more government scrutiny, control, fines and inconvenience?”
Answer: Yes. If this is hard to believe, consider guns. The government stripped tens of thousands
of law-abiding citizens of their legitimate rifles and pistols and closed down every gun shop in the
UK. Meanwhile, armed criminals now freely roam around our inner cities, laughing at such laws.
The going price for a hand-gun in London is £50. £100 if you want fifty 9mm rounds with it. A
sub-machine gun? Yours for £250. The citizens suffer, the criminals laugh. Again it is
impossible to imagine criminals and terrorists going straight because they have to carry an ID

“We had them during the war…”

No2ID Campaigners Briefing Leaflet 1 20/12/04

Answer: That ID was equivalent to the average library card. It is not what we are talking about
here. Forget war-time ID cards – this is a whole different league. They just happen to be called
the same thing.
“What about Immigration. That’s a massive problem, surely?”
Answer: Immigrants and asylum seekers are already subject to stringent ID checks and must
have their fingerprints taken etc. Illegal immigrants often arrive with no ID whatsoever, having
shredded their passports in an attempt to become faceless and backgroundless. A National ID
Card will do precisely nothing to stop this problem. Many illegal immigrants knowingly face
death to get to safer countries. Would ID cards stop people who are that desperate?
“Surely we can’t have total individual freedom in society. Do you want
government to grant us more freedom?”
Answer: Our freedoms are not granted to us by governments! It does not work like that (at least it
shouldn’t work like that). We have our freedoms by right – and then we employ servants (the
government) to curtail those freedoms in certain strictly limited but essential ways. They should
be able to clearly demonstrate a very good reason to curtail more of our freedom. It is the duty of
every citizen to closely monitor the freedoms that are curtailed and the alleged reasons for doing
so – and to protest vehemently if they disagree with the latest restrictions. We must very carefully
balance the freedom of the individual with the needs of living in a social group and be constantly
on the look-out for corrupt or spurious reasons for curtailing freedom.
“Aren’t there other benefits of the card? For example, if it contained my
health history, medicines I took, food allergies etc – wouldn’t that be
useful if I collapsed in the street and an ambulance came?”
Answer: Without doubt, if we all carried a National Identity Card and were logged and tagged on
a government computer, there would be advantages. Interfacing with bureaucrats would be easier,
for example. Just because something has advantages, it does not mean it should be implemented.
(Example: Banning smoking would save 120,000 lives each year.) The specific answer to your
question is this: If you think you are at risk, or you think you want a Medical Emergency Card,
then you may have one and carry it always. This has nothing to do with the rest of us and we
should not be forced to carry the same card.
“They have them in other countries. They don’t seem to mind do they?”
Answer: Again it is not a good argument for something to say it has been implemented in another
country so why not here? (Example: They have banned Internet Access in Country X – so why
not here? Thieves have their hands cut off in country Y – so they should do it here.) A few other
countries have an ID card. It is often a piece of plastic with a photo and signature. This is not
what we are protesting against. In our view, no government has the right to keep a database on
each citizen and use force to ensure compliance in registration. Citizens who have accepted this
are playing the very dangerous game of relying on a benevolent government now and forever.

No2ID Campaigners Briefing Leaflet 1 20/12/04

                                  Six Point Action Plan
 The purpose of this leaflet is to arm you with the answers to many of the arguments and
 questions you will hear. However, here are six things which you can do to aid our cause:
     1.       Become politically active. If you care about privacy and freedom, NOW is the time
              to stand up and be counted.
     2.       Become a paid-up member of NO2ID. Forms available on our website
              ( or write to the address below.
     3.       Find and join your local NO2ID group or start one yourself.(Details on our web site
     4.       Talk to as many people as possible and get them to join NO2ID. Also try to engage
              them in persuasive discussion.
     5.       Write to your MP. An oldie, but a goodie.
     6.       Write to the press (obtain a copy of our CD “How to Write a Letter to the Editor”)

Whatever the problem or question, a compulsory National Identity Card is not an acceptable
solution. There are better, more workable, far cheaper solutions to any problem raised in support
of such a card.

The time to fight this draconian legislation is right now. No matter how benign the current
government appear to be, no matter how little data they promise to hold on each of us at the start,
no matter what stringent safeguards they claim will be in place, once the National Identity
Register (the computer which will log each one of us) has been set up and ID cards issued
each year will see a gradual decrease in personal privacy. Creeping statism will ensure that
ever more personal information is added to your citizen file.

NOW is the time to fight. Please help us.

      If you care about your privacy and freedom please join
               us in our fight to stop this right now.
Happy Campaigning!

  The NO2ID Campaign Box 412, 78 Marylebone High Street, London, W1U 5AP


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